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Dave Bautista covered his Manny Pacquiao tattoo after ‘anti-gay statements’

"My mom’s a lesbian, and I just could no longer call him a friend," Dave Bautista shared.

By Emily Maskell

Dave Bautista
Dave Bautista covered up his Manny Pacquiao tattoo (Image: Netflix)

Actor Dave Bautista has shared that he got a tattoo covered up after the friend it was dedicated to made “anti-gay statements.”

In an interview with GQ (4 January), the 53-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy star was showcasing his extensive tattoo collection when he pointed to the cover-up on his left forearm.

“It used to be a team logo,” he explained. “I was part of a team of a person I considered a friend and someone I really looked up to.”

“He then later came out publicly with some anti-gay statements and turned out to be an extreme homophobe,” he adds.

“So I had a huge issue with it. It’s a personal issue with me,” Bautista continues.

“My mom’s a lesbian, and I just could no longer call him a friend, so I had it covered up with this.”

While Bautista didn’t name the individual in question, many have suggested it was in reference to his Manny Pacquiao-inspired ‘Team Pacquiao’ tattoo.

He covered the flaming meteor tattoo (Pacquiao’s team logo) in 2016 and his forearm now displays a woman with a skull face painting.

In 2016, Pacquiao was running for a seat in the Philippine Senate when he made a deeply homophobic statement. 

He stated: “If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”

“My mom’s a lesbian, and I just could no longer call him a friend”

Pacquiao later apologised for his comment. Nevertheless, Bautista condemned the ex-boxer. 

Bautista called Pacquiao a “f***ing idiot” in an interview with TMZ following the latter’s remarks. 

“I don’t think it’s funny,” he said. “Put it like this: If anyone called my mother an animal, I’d stick my foot in his ass.”

“You can’t come back from that, man,” he added. “There’s no coming back from that.”

Pacquiao won the Senate seat in 2016 and served until June 2022.

Bautista has long been an LGBTQ ally, regularly celebrating Pride Month with proud Instagram posts sharing uplifting messages of acceptance. 

Bautista recently starred in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the film which sees Daniel Craig play a gay detective

The star-studded cast includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline and Kate Hudson.